Leadership. Development. Skill Building.
Who We Are
Sponsored by the US Department of Labor, WNY Youthbuild program
shapes the lives of our community’s next generation of leaders,
providing an opportunity for at-risk or low-income to complete their
education and learn in-demand job skills, all while committing their
time and energy to local community revitalization projects. YouthBuild
is an alternative education program that offers individuals ages 16-24
training and practical experience for “in-demand” industry careers
through community revitalization projects, while also working to earn a
GED certificate through the program. Most program participants have been
in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, are high
school dropouts, and/or are otherwise at-risk of failing to reach key
educational milestones and opportunities that lead to career
fulfillment. They join the YouthBuild program because they are looking
to transform their lives and roles in society.
When they are not in the classroom, students serve Buffalo community
in a team-based setting where they learn job skills, acquire extensive
hands on construction training, under the mentorship of a
site-supervisor, by building or renovating low-income housing, schools
or other community facilities.
WNY YouthBuild has taught me a lot about hard work. I tried many
times before to get my GED and failed. When the opportunity to join
YouthBuild came, I applied right away because I wanted to help out in my
community but also get my GED. Through hard work, I obtained my GED and
that was a huge accomplishment for me. Many people said I couldn’t do
it, but now I’m not a statistic for society to put me in. Now I’m off to
college in the fall. Just to think that I started out with nothing and
now YouthBuild has helped me become a successful woman. I also learned
how to manage both being in school and working. I’ve learned to love
community service and helping in the community, which is something I
never did before YouthBuild.
—Daphne Davis, YouthBuild Member
Staff plans and provide opportunities for personal and professional
development by offering training and certification courses. In addition,
staff provides additional support to ensure members grow as
civically-engaged youth leaders by providing leadership opportunities
and other avenues for growth.
WNY YouthBuild is fully enrolled right now, however, If interested, please contact Robin Barker at 716-418-8500 x114 for information on the next cohort start date.